Chalisgaon's leopard claims its seventh victim, an 8-year-old boy

Updated: 07 December, 2017 17:27 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

Experts have been camping at the village to trap the leopard; villagers tense following the killing

While the team of experts and the controversial shooter from Hyderabad are in Chalisgaon to trap the leopard that has been attacking people, the animal on Wednesday night killed an 8-year-old boy, taking the death toll to seven. An official from the forest department said, "There are chances that the leopard involved in this incident is the same one that has been attacking people. We are taking all possible measures to trap the animal."

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Following the death of the child last night, the situation in the village became tense. The forest department has already posted expert shooters and teams in the field to trap the leopard. Controversial shooter Nawab Shafath Ali Khan from Hyderabad is already in Chalisgaon. Now, animal rights activist and Union minister Maneka Gandhi's representative Wasif Jamshed from Lucknow, too, has landed in the area. Apart from this, staff of more than 100, including tranquillising teams and shooters from SRPF and the forest department are searching for the leopard.

Sources from the forest department said the sugarcane fields and crops surrounding the Savitri river on one side and forest on the other are making matters difficult for the teams as both these places are ideal for a leopard to hide in. "We have already started raising awareness in neighbouring village," added another forest department official

The forest department has also managed to get pictures of the leopard in the camera trap installed in nearby villages. Experts working in the field of wildlife are also of the opinion that there are chances the leopard attacking people has been translocated.

"Locals tell us that leopard sightings are not a new thing in the area, but they are shocked because of the killings. Some villagers feel that the leopard may have been captured from some other location and released in the Chalisgaon area, which could be why there was conflict," added an expert.

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First Published: 07 December, 2017 17:20 IST

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